Mayo Clinic Health System in Springfield

Mayo Clinic Health System in Springfield community update

by Scott Thoreson,

Mayo Clinic Health System

in Springfield administrator

Area students might not want to hear this, but their parents are eagerly awaiting the start of the new school year, with getting back to routines and less free time for the kids. We, along with the rest of our service area, are getting used to our new model of care and our routines here at Mayo Clinic Health System in Springfield. 

With the transitions that took place in late 2018, we have moved to make our local health care delivery system sustainable. Keeping rural health care sustainable is a challenge for many, and almost every day I am privy to articles regarding how small communities throughout the country are changing to adapt to a new reality.


Critical access 

status sustained

To our dismay, we continue to hear comments about how the “hospital has closed,” and we are always eager to correct these misstatements. We have maintained our “critical access hospital” status, and we continue to have our Emergency Department open 24 hours per day, receiving ambulances and providing care to those whom we can treat, just like before. 

Patients who need to be transferred to other facilities have the ability to determine where they want to go, just like before. Onsite providers in the Emergency Department have the resource of telemedicine from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, as well as from the Emergency Department in Mankato. Our Emergency Department volume is actually higher for this first half of 2019 than it was for the first half of 2018. 

Besides having more volume, we are continuing to maintain a high level of patient satisfaction for Emergency Department patients, and year-to-date overall assessment is at the 94th percentile nationally and amongst the leading sites in the Mayo Clinic Health System. We were recently designated as an “Acute Stroke Ready Hospital” by the Minnesota Department of Health and continue to keep our staff trained to a high level to meet the various needs of area residents.


Patients  are happy 

with clinic

We couldn’t be happier regarding the continued reception of our clinic, which is mainly staffed by three nurse practitioners — Ashley Schmitt, Christie Vogel and Val Folkens. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants can perform the majority of services provided by primary care physicians, including ordering tests and prescribing medications. 

Our clinic patient volumes are running about 30% ahead of our budget so far this year, a strong indication of how area patients are responding to our new model of care. We are hearing terrific comments, many along the lines of how thorough their evaluation was and the education that patients are now receiving. 

From a patient-satisfaction perspective, as measured by our patient surveys, as of our last review the “Likelihood to Recommend Care Provider” question for our clinic was rated at the 92nd percentile nationally, which placed our clinic in elite company within the Mayo Clinic Health System. Our Urgent Care clinic continues to see patients from 3-6 p.m. each week day, with the last slot from 5:45-6 p.m. On Saturdays, Urgent Care hours are 9 a.m. to noon, with the last slot from 11:45 a.m. to noon. 

Clinic and hospitals across the country are increasingly being measured by the quality they provide in a number of categories. I am happy to share that our Springfield Clinic is a leader amongst Mayo Clinic sites in areas relating to care of patients with depression, diabetes and cancer screenings for breast cancer and colon cancer, and this is a tribute to the teamwork exhibited every day by our staff.


See complete story in this week's issue of the Springfield Advance-Press.